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Propecia Rally New Zealand Forges Japanese Ties

Mon, 24 Jan 2005

Propecia Rally New Zealand Forges Japanese Ties

While many sporting and recreational events in the Auckland region continue to suffer setback after setback, the Propecia Rally New Zealand continues to build on its already strong reputation as one of the major international events on the New Zealand sports and tourism calendar with news today of an official relationship with Rally Japan.

Commencing this season, Propecia Rally New Zealand and Rally Japan, both rounds of the World Rally Championship have joined forces to create the New Zealand/Japan Rally Challenge. The Challenge is designed to offer further incentive for competitors on the international stage but also to strengthen the quality of the field competing here in New Zealand.

Rally New Zealand Chairman Morrie Chandler said his organisation saw an opportunity and has acted quickly to capitalize. "We are constantly looking to improve our product and maintain our position as one of New Zealand's biggest and most successful sporting events but also to enhance our reputation worldwide as one of the top events on the World Rally calendar.

This Challenge provides an opportunity for Japanese and New Zealand competitors to gain some international experience and this can only benefit competitors and the events. The Challenge formalizes that opportunity and ensures that Rally New Zealand will further strengthen its international field."

Chandler is quick to point out that the benefits are not restricted to the on road action here in New Zealand, nor indeed are they limited to the Japanese, with a number of New Zealand teams expected to reciprocate and head to Japan.

"We have put in place prize incentives for competitors from both New Zealand and Japan and it opens the door for some of our best privateer teams to gain further experience on the international stage. In these days of controversy over the perceived value of major events to the country, city and local communities it is also worth pointing out that the Japanese will bring with them substantial support teams and budgets, further boosting the already significant injection into the economy at all levels."

Previous studies have indicated an injection of $50 million into the New Zealand economy each year. Rally New Zealand attracts a total of 60 international entries, bringing a total of 1,500 support crew, 400 media and an influx of international visitors.

The relationship with Japan confirms Rally New Zealand's already strong position as one of, if not the leading annual sporting event in the country in terms of international media interest, value to the economy and international prestige.

The Propecia-sponsored Rally New Zealand starts on the evening of Thursday 7 April with a Ceremonial Start at Waitemata Plaza, Auckland City. The first full day of competition on Friday is in the Kaipara region, based at Paparoa. Saturday's racing returns to Kaipara, before heading to Manukau City for two runs over the Super Special Stage. Action on Sunday is in the Waikato region near Raglan with the final stage being the internationally acclaimed Whaanga Coast. A Ceremonial Finish will follow at Waitemata Plaza, Auckland City on Sunday afternoon.

ENDS.

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